One of the many challenges of returning to work on Monday apart from blues is not remembering any progress from the last week.
You sit in front of your desk and have difficulty recalling what to do.
Your progress on your projects and meetings from last Friday seems like a mountain covered with a thick veil of haze.
And before you know it, you're on your team's update meeting and scrambling to find traces of work you did so far.
Not cool. ☹️
This whole situation seems like a movie I've seen over a thousand times.
I've spent countless hours on Mondays realigning myself with my work and then moving to the actual work for the week.
What a waste of time.
But thankfully, I came across a recent tweet from a friend on Twitter about a solution to this issue:
Donn's monday.txt file seemed like a fantastic process to bring back context on my work status while starting a new week.
So, I decided to give it a whirl.
Here's how I did it:
Every Friday or Saturday evening, I launch the Notes app on my computer and jot down the things I did on that day and any pending tasks I need to do on Monday, like this:
No timestamp or fancy app required, just a simple bullet-point braindump of my work updates.
I call this method The Weekend Bridge.
And here's how it bridges the gap between two consecutive workweeks:
When I start work on Monday, the first item on my agenda is to go through this note and get myself up to speed on what I need to do.
After a quick 5–10 mins of reading, I have all the information I need to start work for the day.
This work log comes in handy during team update meetings.
I have all my work updates in front of me in a simplified manner that I can use to deliver my updates in minutes.
Mesmerised by this simple yet effective activity log, I extended its use to every day of the week.
Now, every day before I log off of work, I erase my previous day's work log and dump new information into the note.
When I return to work the following day, I get a jump start on my work by going through the note in a few minutes.
This might seem like an additional chore you must do every day or every Friday.
So, here are a few points to make the process easier:
- Don't worry about formatting, grammar and being right. This update log is for your eyes only. Make it a rough dump of things you did and things you need to do the following day. And any random musings you want to continue the next day.
- Reuse the same note for every day or every Friday's update. Reduces clutter and removes mental overload of creating and organising log notes.
- You don't need a fancy app for this. Use your go-to notes app, Google Docs, or create a plain text file and record your work.
With these constraints, the process hardly takes around 3–5 minutes every day but compounds to hours saved over time.
You won't know until you try it yourself. Do it.